Oct 31, 2020  
2015-2016 Catalog 
2015-2016 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Studies, MA

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Department of Environmental Studies, Huxley College of the Environment

Graduate Faculty

Abel, Troy D., PhD, environmental policy, conservation politics, civic environmentalism, policy analysis, globalization and environment.
Bach, Andrew J., PhD, physical geography, geomorphology, soils and weathering, geoarcheology.
Berardi, Gigi, PhD, resources management, agroecology, international community development, food security, all-hazards planning.
Buckley, Patrick H., PhD, economic and development geography, quantitative methods, GIS, environmental issues in Japan and China, quality of life, transborder environmental issues.
Flower, Aquila, PhD, environmental change from a geographic perspective using a suite of methodological approaches drawn from the fields of dendrochronology, ecology, statistics, and geospatial analysis.
Green, Rebekah, PhD, human ecology, the Disaster Risk Reduction minor, and advises The Planet publication.
Hollenhorst, Steven, PhD, social dimensions of natural resources, wilderness and protected area policy and management.
Kamel, Nabil, PhD., social and environmental justice, post-disaster recovery, political economy of urbanization, sustainable development, critical urban theory, housing and poverty, physical planning, urban design, regional and international development
Medler, Michael J., PhD, biogeography, GIS, remote sensing, forest fire and wilderness management.
Melious, Jean O., JD, environmental and land use law and policy, international environmental policy.
Myers, O. Eugene, PhD, environmental education, conservation psychology, human ecology, environmental history and ethics.
Neff, Mark W., PhD, environmental governance and policy, environmental studies, sustainability
Rossiter, David A., PhD, Canada, cultural-historical geographies, political ecologies.
Stanger, Nicholas R., PhD, environmental education and exploration of the emotional, ecological, educational, indigenous, and complexity systems
Stangl, Paul A., PhD, pedestrian planning, new urbanism, urban landscapes, memory and meaning; Europe and Berlin.
Wang, Grace A., PhD, natural resource policy, cultural resources management, community-based forestry.
Webler, Thomas, PhD, environment energy and politics
Zaferatos, Nicholas C., PhD, community and environmental planning, sustainable development, European environmental policy, Native American political development.


The MA degree in Environmental Studies prepares students to address complex environmental problems using a highly interdisciplinary approach. The program prepares students in the analysis, development, conservation, and management frameworks of environmental resources for careers in business, government, planning, consulting, teaching, and research.

Application Information

Deadline: Students generally will be admitted into the MA in Environmental Studies fall quarter only. The Graduate Program Committee will begin reviewing application materials until the enrollment limit is reached or on June 1, whichever comes first. Because maximum student enrollment is limited, all applicants are strongly encouraged to submit application materials by February 1.

TA Deadline: To be considered for a graduate teaching assistantship, applicants must submit their application materials by February 1.

Specific Test Requirements: Graduate Record Exam, General Test; applicants with advanced degrees are not required to submit GRE scores.

Supporting Materials: An application for admission into the MA program in Environmental Studies must include a two to three page statement of purpose addressing the following:

1) Which specialization the applicant is interested in pursuing and how their prior experience has prepared them to work in that area of study.

2) Explain why the applicant wishes to pursue graduate studies in Environmental Studies.

3) Indicate a preferred faculty advisor (or advisors); students are encouraged to review faculty research interests prior to contacting potential advisors (described on the Huxley website, huxley.wwu.edu/department-overview-page). Students are admitted to the program only upon agreement of a potential faculty advisor.

4) A plan for coursework the student intends to take at WWU which will build upon that specialization. Note that coursework may come from any department.

5) What future expectations she or he has for the MA degree.


Students with a 4-year degree in Environmental Studies or related fields, who meet the requirements of the Graduate School and who show evidence of superior scholarship, are encouraged to apply.


The thesis option requires satisfactory completion of a research project emphasizing original theoretical or applied research and resulting in a comprehensive written thesis, grounded in the appropriate literature. The candidate will provide a public seminar based on the thesis, after an oral defense and acceptance of the thesis by the candidate’s thesis committee. The scale and scope of work for the project option will be commensurate with the scale and scope of work for the thesis option. The project option requires satisfactory completion of an applied project emphasizing a tangible product and a comprehensive individual written report on the project from each candidate. Each candidate will also provide an individual public seminar based on the project, after an oral defense and acceptance of the project by the candidate’s project committee.

Committee Makeup

The thesis/project committee will have a minimum of two graduate faculty members from Environmental Studies Graduate Faculty; one will serve as chair. The third member, with approval of the graduate advisor and Graduate School, can come from elsewhere on campus or, another university or can be a professional in the field. Your committee must be formed by the third quarter of residency (Thesis Topic Approval Card). Students must meet monthly with the committee chair to report progress on their thesis/project, and with the entire committee as needed. Failure to make satisfactory progress on the thesis/project over an extended time period may result in the student’s termination from the program.

Thesis/Project Proposal Presentation

The student is to make a public presentation of the proposed thesis/project, followed by questions and discussion. The purpose of this presentation is to allow the student to share the proposed thesis/project with a broader audience than the thesis committee to facilitate further refinement of the work. The presentation will be made as soon as the student and the thesis/project committee have agreed upon a topic, typically in the third quarter of residency. Major changes to the thesis topic will require a new presentation at the discretion of the thesis committee.

Program Requirements (minimum 45 credits)

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